20 August, 2010
Ed McKeaney, General Manager of The Wooster Group talks arriving in Edinburgh, rehearsals and what happens in the run up to showtime!
The first of us began arriving in Edinburgh on the 17th – slightly jetlagged after our 90 minute delay at JFK airport in NYC and 250 minute layover in Amsterdam – including all of the technicians, the director and the company manager (me). On the 18th is when the performers, costumer and producer followed; with equal lag. Bozzy, our production manager, had been here the longest – he flew from NYC to Antwerp on Thursday the 12th where he, and a team of workers converted our European set from HAMLET to VIEUX CARRÉ then loaded it onto a truck along with the rest of our freight that had arrived from the US a few days earlier. In the end, we all made it safely and ready to begin the next phase of VIEUX CARRÉ. (If you want to hear about the first performances of VC in France, you’ll have to find one of us at the bar after a show…).
Then the fun began, a quick three hours of grid setup in the Royal Lyceum on Tuesday night after our friends and colleagues, Elevator Repair Service, struck their set and equipment. The next two days, the technical crew worked 14-hour shifts getting the theater ready for rehearsals. Meanwhile Cynthia, our producer, and I were busy at the Hub finalizing the program, scheduling interviews and photo calls, and of course continuing to keep the operations of the Group going overseas (via multiple wireless internet connections – found in coffee shops, pubs, cafes, the hotel, etc.)
On Thursday, the performers prepared for the first day of rehearsals with a few hours of video watching and then mic checks on stage.
On Friday, the morning hours will be spent with the tech team making some adjustments before rehearsal where we will be visited by two Festival audio-describers and a photo team. Dinner break. Repeat. A second four-hour rehearsal followed by notes and adjustments.
Saturday, August 21 – the day of the first show will start with a final early morning of tech notes, four hours of rehearsal, a quick hour-dinner and then a 6pm show call for the whole team. Make-up and costumes are put on. Lights, video, sound and effects are checked. The audience is let in the house and we begin – performance #1 of VIEUX CARRÉ by Tennessee Williams at the Edinburgh International Festival.